Monday, September 1, 2014

Reviews of Building Disney's Dream

Click here to get a free sample chapter
I've recently been contacted by yet another Arrow relative, this time the wife of a cousin of Bill Hardiman who says; "Both my husband and I had rides on Arrow Development creations as children." Hopefully this new connection will help add even more to the story.

Expanding on Robert Reynold's earlier book, Building Disney's Dream fills in the rest of the story of Arrow Development, which started out as a small machine shop founded by Andy Anderson, Karl Bacon, Bill Hardiman and Ed Morgan, and subsequently grew to be the largest producer of amusement park rides in the world.

I'll continue to post supplemental material about Arrow here, which will fill out the story even further and offer some deeper insights into who did what and how they did it.

Building Disney's Dream is available on the iTunes Store.  For a .pdf contact us at and watch for future updates and editions.

Here are a few reviews of the eBook;

Robert Reynolds, author of Roller Coasters, Flumes and Flying Saucers wrote:

"Building Disney's Dream contains an amazing amount of detail which is the result of passionate research.  Reading it, I’ve learned a number of things which I hadn’t even known before.  

I especially liked the parts about the Arrow Huss and S & S mergers, which filled in the details which Ed and Karl didn't elaborate on during my interviews with them.

This book contributes significantly to our knowledge of the amusement industry in this precisely detailed account of Arrow Development. The extensive research has uncovered many gems from the early days of Disneyland and the development of the tubular steel roller coaster. 

I highly recommend Building Disney's Dream as a valuable addition to any history of Disney or the theme park industry."

Didier Ghez, author of Walt's People said; "I absolutely LOVE it."

Don Lancaster says:

"This book is interesting, informative and a lot of fun. Mr. Francis' love of the topic is obvious from the moment you begin reading, which results in a book that draws you in and holds your interest.

I have a large collection of books on Imagineering, theme park design and the ride design, and I often find that many of the books that I buy contain very little new information for me. That was  not the case with this book. I already knew some things about Arrow, especially regarding their work with Disney, but this book contained a lot of information and stories that I had never encountered before. It is clear that Mr. Francis put a great deal of work into researching the people behind Arrow and their contributions to the roller coaster and theme park industries.

The illustrations in the book are wonderful. There some beautiful pictures of Arrow rides (including an amazingly beautiful picture of a carousel), drawings from patent applications, old Arrow marketing materials and much more.

To be honest, the book jumps around a bit. At one moment it can be discussing the history of the company, then change topics to a specific ride, then to a specific ride designer, then to certain elements of ride design. It took me a bit to get used to it, but the style actually serves the book well. It gives the book a more conversational tone that helps to communicate the author's passion for the subject matter.

If you enjoy books on theme parks or roller coasters and the people behind them, or even if you are just curious about the topic, I highly recommend this book."